Some of you readers will have noticed that Goodbooks Media recently published a book called Poetry that Enters the Mind and Warms the Heart by Donald DeMarco. Dr. DeMarco is the author of some 27 books about Catholic truth. He is an expert on the contemporary clash between erroneous and deadly practices and true ethics. Many of you will have read the articles he has been writing for years for the Catholic press.
Here is one of the poems I loved the most in his recent book:
Pale, desiccated leaves, fluttering in the autumn
Imperiled by the same breath that gives them
Their metaphoric meaning;
Clinging heroically and desperately to withering
Not knowing what advancing moment
Will detach them from their vital source
And send them plummeting to their grave;
Anxiously trying to tell, in whispering agitations, a
That can no longer read what they are trying to say:
Life is short;
Time is precious;
The verdant hope that sprang in May
Is now fulfilled, yet not in
Ecstasy but desolation;
Windswept trees will solemnly stand
With leave-less, outstretched arms,
Configuring an arching prayer and
The hope of Regeneration.
Dr. DeMarco's book is available from Amazon:
Just became 78 years old.
Since when I was 35, I ran around saying
I am half way to eternity. Now I am saying
I have 9 toes in eternity!
A beautiful thought
I think came from Jesus and you could take as apt for yourselves also was this: “When you were conceived I knew you would be Mine.” Brought up as an atheist and now a dedicated widow with Jesus as my bridegroom this had a special meaning for me.
At the seminary when we sing happy birthday to people at means, I, as the oldest motherly woman, get up and give that person a hug. So on my birthday many seminarians and sisters and others got up and gave me a hug. It was so moving.
June 29, 2008
You love power and you fear power. It is the human condition. Jesus tries to teach you something to transcend human ways of understanding as in “behold the lilies of the field” or the temple veil is rent by an earthquake, but also by the drops of His blood or the child as the symbol of the kingdom.
The words of St. Paul speak of Christian virtue as the power to do good.
Your minds must be on the Gospel, the good news. Scanning the horizon for the bad news brings the illusion of the power to resist, but resolves nothing, for there are always powerful enemies without and within that threaten you.
The augmented power you feel in the joining of hands (in Christian prayer with others) is a symbol of a different type of power. The images in Scripture of the end of the world symbolize the defeat of purely natural power. Christ’s resurrected body doesn’t defeat the Romans, but defeats the laws of gravity as it ascends.
Grab His feet!
Being Drawn In
We, the source of your being, want to draw it always further in. Grace can be for the purpose of giving you extra energy to do Our will on earth. Think of St. Paul and other missionaries. Think of a Christian’s daily life of work for others.
Grace is the energy for good action, but it is also the power to enter in to Our realm. You rest in Us and breathe in “fresh air” so you return to your life tasks with new energy.
Watch this in those you think are close to Us. Can you see when their faces reveal more light? Can you feel more tenderness in their glance or touch?
The seed is hard, the fruit is soft.
“You shall go from grace to grace, from glory to glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
(On the Feast of St. Peter and Paul, our priest, Fr. Ken Whittington, gave an incisive sermon to us in this Bible Belt area of North Carolina. Quoting Jesus making Peter the Rock on which He would build His church, Fr. Ken said, “He didn’t say on this book I will build My church. The church assembled the New Testament gradually. Of course, he added, the Bible is the Word of God, but it is not the rock.)
You read about Jesus naming Peter the Rock in the sacred book, but in the earliest days of the Church the people (who had not seen Jesus themselves when He was on earth) heard about Jesus from the mouths of people, the apostles, the disciples. The resurrected Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene, to Peter, to Thomas personally. The written word is a means, not a substitute for persons.
People change and wound, so you can come to prefer written words to people, thinking words hold still. We use the words of truth to reach your minds and hearts such as the words of the Creed. But the Word that became flesh was a person; the second Person of the Trinity and then a person on earth. When the body dies you will not see a book but a Person, your savior. Heaven will not be a library, but the communion of persons.
Because of what He saw and felt in a personal encounter, St. Thomas Aquinas thought the words in his books were but straw.
We are not asking you to throw away all books with written words. Are not these messages sent to become written words? But We do not want you to cling to them as if they were your salvation.
Each single moment of contact in loving presence with Us or with any human person can be for you an opening of the doors of heaven; an opening toward the ecstatic union. After all, new human persons do not come from words but from the “ecstatic union” of two persons. Is not the Trinity an ecstatic union of Persons?
“Be not afraid.” (Matthew 28:10)
Setting Forth on a Vaster Sea
You long for larger horizons. At the same time you rush back to the cozy safety of your homes. This is a natural in and out of human life on earth.
For your minds there is a joy in opening to wider views, but then you can become lost in speculation and need to come home to the fundamental truths. In the Church we present to you the vista of an unknown but gleaming heaven and then gather you into your well-known parish settings with the one table of the sacrifice, finally giving you what is as safe as one Eucharistic host.
In this out and in rhythm you suddenly feel bewildered. You need to echo the words of Jesus on the Cross: “Into Your hands I commend my spirit.”
Children laugh more than adults because they have more trust, but the benign smile of an old one, tells of long tested trust and abiding hope. (The smile of Benedict XVI?)
The sailors knew to trust Mary, Star of the Sea.
We want you to be intense in a way that attracts rather than frightens. We want an intensity of love, not of pseudo-power.
People were not afraid of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They were drawn by the intensity of their love. So also with the saints.
It seems to you paradoxical that to become more intense in this loving way you have to become more relaxed in your prayer.
Prayer of presence is not tense but receptive. This is because supernatural love that comes into you and radiates from you is not tense. Tension comes from fear.
Our love is intense because it is person to person, but it is relaxed because it is a response to what is of unchangeable value; your created being and what we have created in the being of those you encounter.
Supernatural intensity is as rhythmic as music. Tension, by contrast, is jerky, as you try to coerce others into fitting into some plan you have created to allay fear; for example, fear of loneliness.
So do not begrudge Us the time of receptive prayer. The ecstatic union depends upon your willingness to come out of your habitual state of defensive planning.
Refreshed by Our intense tender love for you, you will be better able to direct rays of love into the hearts of others.